• Just think of it… in centuries gone by, the only remedies we humans sought for our physical or mental ills were magic pills from our witch doctors! In the past 150 years modern medicine has made quite extraordinary progress, which I’ve touched on before. And to tell you the truth, I simply wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for several interventions of doctors and surgeons over the years. But nowadays, as the costs of healthcare increase exponentially, there’s a healthy trend towards alternative cures and even prevention.    

    Indeed, ancient traditional medicines and other medical alternatives have now conquered a much more significant role among the regular go-to solutions we’re looking at when in need.

    Body Work is one such alternative that nowadays is in popular demand. In its broadest sense, Body Work can include any technique – physical, therapeutic or even self-development -   that subjects the human body to any manipulative therapy, breath work, or energy medicine.

  • Why Work on the Body?

    When we consider our brain, we understand that it both processes and stores all the information to which we are subjected. But let’s remember that our conscious mind – that with which we are aware – is only a small part of the picture. In fact, those clever scientists tell us, typically only 5-7% of all the information we come into contact with is observed consciously. The rest is dealt with by our subconscious and unconscious. Just think of when you learned to drive a car or ride your bike. Those early pitiful attempts to get the pedals, the gear stick (showing my age!) and the steering wheel aligned. And now consider driving your car or bike: easy as breathing!  The thousands of discrete pieces of information we are observing and responding to each moment used to be conscious as we were learning, and are now unconscious as we mastered the habit.  

    What’s that got to do with the body?

    Well, all the information from the history of our subconscious and unconscious mind is stored in our body. Including all the stuff we never even realised we didn’t even remember! But this is especially relevant for psychological trauma which is a natural part of human maturity.

    Trauma often leaves permanent marks on our psychological make up and changes it forever. Especially when we’re growing up and feeling greater sensitivity to our emotions, yet perhaps not yet having the intellectual maturity to process it more objectively. The mind however has a tendency to manipulate memories to preserve it's status quo – to keep the systems up and running. But the body… the body remembers!

    In his book The Body Keeps the Score, psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk explains in detail how trauma and its consequent stress can harm us. When trauma occurs, our body and brain are subjected to drastic physiological changes than can last a lifetime. The ultimate physical consequences can be dangerous> And you might recognise them:  diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer (van der Kolk, 2014).When we experience a traumatic event a stream of adrenaline is spread throughout the body and the memory of the event is imprinted into the amygdala, one of the key parts of our brain’s limbic system (Li et al., 2017). The limbic system regulates our emotions and long-term memory (Rajmohan & Mohandas, 2007) and is seen as a tangible expression of our subconscious mind. Trauma can be so powerful that, in case of childhood trauma, it can even lead to bipolar disorder (Souza-Queiroz et al., 2016).

    So, if our subconscious is located and stored in our body, it makes sense that we might seek to heal our body in order to heal our mind.

    Hence Body Work! The consistent effort to release tension and trauma in our mind, in our body and in our spirit through working on our physical form.

    But how do we get rid, now and forever of traumas and tensions stored in our physical body? Not only can we release aches, pains and tension. We can rework our mind, remove trauma, even re-invent our lives to leave parts of our harmful past where they belong.  

  • Body Work Tools & Techniques

    Body Work can take many, many different forms. From tough, imposing trauma release exercises to gentle relaxations and massage. Even as a middle aged, left brained white male I’ve tried many myself! And have many to recommend. It’s like many things – explore a little and see where you get to!

    Some people like to divide the modalities into the more physical, manipulative tools, and non-touch methods, both of which incorporate numerous traditional therapies.

    1. Manipulative Techniques

    For example: Acupuncture and acupressure; craniosacral therapy; cupping; chiropractic; reflexology; shiatsu; kinetic body therapy.

    2. Non-Touch Techniques

    Include Yoga & pranayama; reiki; breathwork; qigong; tai chi; dancing & shaking.

    With their holistic approach, all these techniques are based on the connection between mind, body and spirit and the shared goal ultimately is releasing trauma.

    As I say, my suggestion is to explore something new - an acupuncture session or shiatsu massage – to find a deep feeling of grounding, calm and vitalising energy spreading back into your daily life.


    Wishing you a fabulous, regenerative day!